You’re alone in a dark alley. A shady character is walking close behind you. You’re worried for your safety. You quickly fire up the Help! Android app and it starts streaming audio and video from your phone, along with your location, to a remote server.
Then, if your phone is switched off, the app is closed down or the battery dies, an email is sent to the emergency contacts you’ve set up ahead of time. They can then watch and listen back to the recording and notify the emergency services if you’re in trouble.
Neat idea, right? Sadly, Help! is currently just a concept, raising funds via Kickstarter in order to become a reality. It’s the brainchild of Nashville, Tennessee resident Joseph Reilly, who is looking for $7,700 to build the app.
Now, there are some potential problems with the idea – if you’re in a dangerous situation, chances are that your phone will be in your pocket, so video streaming may well be pointless. Also, video streaming is notoriously power-hungry, meaning that the app may kill your battery and leave you unable to make a phone call yourself, something you may prefer to do rather than rely on a cloud-based service to save your life. Update: A similar app which works the same way to track location, but not audio and video, already exists in the form of Guard My Angel.
Still, Reilly has so far raised $2,064 from 96 backers, so it’s clearly an idea with some legs. He has 19 days to raise the remaining money before the campaign ends.